It is still possible to get wear out of our items and sell them on later, though. “The increasing education around and visibility of vintage on the luxury accessories scene is driving demand for items that are more visibly used,” Charlotte Rogers, founder of This Old Thing London, explains. In fact, US resale site The RealReal reported that demand for conditions in “fair condition” – meaning they show “significant signs of wear” – doubled in 2023. Meanwhile, the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen, who’s regularly pictured with her beaten-up Hermès Kelly bag, have long been poster girls for the allure that a visibly-used item can hold.
Of course, even if we don’t mind our pieces looking worn, caring for them properly is still important. That’s where repair and restoration services comes in. “Generally to maintain a vintage accessory it does have to be expertly repaired from time to time,” Rogers notes. “I always recommend that items are taken back to the specific brand that manufactured them as they have the expertise and knowledge to deal with the maintenance correctly. Truly luxury accessories will have been so well manufactured that with the right love they will last a lifetime and beyond.”
Luxury items aside, learning how to mend our clothes has fallen out of fashion. “People often ask me to mend the holes in their sweaters, or sew up a seam for them; very simple fixes,” Qiu says. “If more people wore their clothes, and learned how to fix them, we could save so much waste in the world.”
It’s clear that we need to reevaluate our relationship with our clothes and learn that it’s perfectly fine – and, indeed, desirable – to wear things that are in less-than-pristine condition. Luckily, it seems the tide is starting to change. “Saving things for ‘best’ and requiring the wardrobe to be solely full of brand new styles is a trend on the decline,” Rogers concludes. “Wearing things to death is now a fashion statement.”
This article first appeared on Vogue.co.uk
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